Cafes, Shops and other Food Outlets
Plastic has become the material of choice for shopping bags, straws, takeaway containers and cutlery, and these items are designed for a single use. Used for just a few minutes, they are made from a material designed to last forever and are a growing problem.
Though plastic packaging is often considered a 'cheap' option, the hidden costs of dealing with plastic waste are the disposal, recycling, litter cleanups and environmental impacts (plastic packaging is the most commonly found item in beach cleanups worldwide).
Whether you are a business owner, work in a food outlet or other store, or are a customer these resources will help local businesses to reduce plastics.
There are also many voluntary initiatives spreading through local retailers. Join these Plastic Free July community advocates and ask your local retailers to adopt:
Bring one, get one tree (reusable cups)
Creative initiative encouraging reusable cups developed by Plastic Free July in Perth's western suburbs. Local cafes sign up and encourage customers to bring reusable cups for takeaway coffees; between us we promote the scheme, and the cafes record how many customers bring reusable cups during July.
At the month end simply tally up the results from participating cafés and for each reusable cup used (and disposable cup saved) we donate a native plant to revegetation projects and planting days in the local community.
It has since been run by groups, councils and universities in other locations and overseas resulting in 7,000 trees planted (and cups and lids avoided)! If you want to run Bring one, get one tree in your local area, all of our graphic design resources are freely available. You will need to source the plants and engage cafes.
Read the Vic Park Collective case study to find out how they ran Bring one, get one tree.
Responsible Cafes (reusable cups)
An initiative for cafes to reduce or eliminate disposable coffee cups by offering a discount to customers with reusable takeaway cups. The program connects thoughtful cafes with conscious consumers with cafes either participating directly or councils can team up with Responsible Cafes for the tools and platform to communicate to cafes. Find out more and get involved.
Read our Cocos Islands case study to find out how Responsible Cafes was part of the Island's efforts to tackle plastic waste.
Boomerang Bags (reusable shopping bags)
Dedicated schools, community groups, businesses and volunteers get together to make re-usable 'Boomerang Bags' using recycled materials as a means to reduce the use of plastic bags. Find out more about the initiative, connect with a local group or find out how to start your own.
Read our Wasteless Pantry case study to see how by setting up a Boomerang Bags group reduced plastic bag use in nearby stores as well!